Al-Qaeda leader wants to kidnap you
Westerners are warned to take precautions.
Al-Qaeda's leader is calling on Muslims to kidnap Westerners, a call that is sure to dampen tourism across the Muslim world. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaeda following the death of Osama bin Laden, sent his message in a video released on jihadist internet forums.
Images of al-Zawahiri are poor, but one thing is clear - he wants you!
Zawahiri also had harsh words for the new president of Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood, saying the new government was corrupt and that most Muslims there wanted Shariah law.
Zawahiri added that Egyptians should "wage a popular campaign to incite and preach in order to complete the revolution, which was aborted."
In his tirade, Zawahiri also called for the release of Omar Abdul Rahman, an Egyptian cleric who was imprisoned in the US for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center attacks, as well as the release of the inmates at the US prison at Guantanamo Bay. He pointed out that freeing these people by force was an "obligatory duty for every Muslim."
While these are typical calls to action from terrorist leadership, requests that were more disturbing followed. "I call upon Muslims to capture citizens of the countries that wage wars against Muslims," Zawahiri said. "Our captives or Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahamn will not be liberated except through force, for it is the only language that they understand."
"Obama must admit he and his allies are standing in the defeated line," Zawahiri ranted. "And that Osama bin Laden, may Allah have mercy on him, and the rest of the Mujahideen and the Muslim Ummah are standing in the victorious line, whether anyone likes it or not."
Although most will find Zawahiri's speech easy to dismiss, his call for the kidnapping of westerners is troubling because westerners abound in the Islamic world. It is understood that al-Qaeda and its affiliates, although weak in most areas, a few dedicated individuals can easily pull off a kidnapping.
Kidnappings of westerners have occurred before, often with fatal results.
All westerners, particularly Americans, are warned to take precautions when travelling in through the Islamic countries.
In return for his efforts, Zawahiri may see some success, but more likely, he must feel like a victim of terror himself. Zawahiri is quite simply the world's most-wanted man, now that Osama bin Laden is dead. With a strengthened CIA intelligence network and rewards offered for his killing or capture, Zawahiri must surely know that his judgment cometh, and that right soon.
The skies of rural Afghanistan and Pakistan are regularly graced by Predator drones and secret reconnaissance vehicles. His date with a hellfire missile shouldn't be long in coming.
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Zawahiri, al-Qaeda, kidnap, westerners, terror
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